Bitten 3 Convention Report

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Bitten 3 Convention

17th to 19th August 2012

Park Inn,Northampton,UK

 For the final time, Massive Events have given all of us UK Truebies a great weekend and a fun filled send off to an amazing series of conventions. Nelsan Ellis, Lauren Bowles, Tara Buck and Lindsay Pulsipher were lovely guests, who were so approachable and down to earth. Our biggest surprise was hearing how funny Lauren can be, it even surprised Nelsan! However, the weekend would be filled with lots of great surprises.

My train journey down to Northampton was quite busy to begin with. My first train was crowded with young music festival goers, who were very giggly and noisy! Luckily, we didn’t have the same second train so the rest of the journey was much more peaceful! Once I arrived at the hotel, I met up with my friend, Sarah, for lunch while we waited for the convention registration time. Our registration packs this year included: my con pass, programme, a 10×8 picture of each of the guests, a Merlotte’s logo bottle opener, 3 button badges, 2 Bitten 3/Fangtasia drinks coasters, a group picture of Bill with his fellow confederate soldiers and a True Blood puzzle sheet. The puzzle sheet was also part of a competition to win a mystery goodie bag by the end of the weekend. I did make an attempt at filling it in but stopped after hitting a really hard section that made my brain hurt! Luckily, my other friends, Rachel and Pete, arrived at the right time to give Sarah and me some mental relief! I never did finish that sheet!

Friday night began with the usual opening ceremony, where the guests are briefly introduced. However, we were all very surprised to see Nelsan’s empty chair! The organisers explained to us that, due to working late on The Butler, Nelsan had missed his flight and was currently still waiting to catch another flight inNew York. They did reassure us, though, that he would be with us in time for Saturday morning’s events. Lauren, Tara and Lindsay seemed really pleased to see everyone and they all looked amazing, which they did all weekend, even when dressed casually! Lauren also accidentally let slip that it was actually 2 flights that Nelsan had missed! Oops!

With Lauren Bowles, (Holly Cleary) – Photo: Helen Berrington

Once the ceremony and following gold ticket drinks reception were over, it was time to dress up for the first of the themed parties. This year, the theme for the Friday night party was “Merlotte’s Halloween Party”. It was quite a treat to have a halloween party in the middle of August! People really went to town on their costumes. There were a few creepy looking clowns, a lot of zombies, a couple of witches and my friend, Pete, with his crazy looking “unzipped” face! I went as Wednesday Adams this year, complete with plastic kitchen knife! However, the best part of the night, like last year, was finding out which themed mechanical animal we would be able to ride. The obvious choice this year was a huge spider! It was much easier to ride than previous animals they’ve had but left those of us with shorter skirts much more exposed to loss of dignity! As I lost that dignity at last year’s Bitten trying to clamber onto the mechanical unicorn, I had no qualms about trying out the spider! I also loved the organisers’ extra touch of spreading sweets and plastic toy insects on our tables for us to take. It really did add to the Halloween feel.

With the first night of partying over, Saturday morning was filled with autograph and photograph sessions. We were all very relieved to see that Nelsan had arrived safely and on time for the morning’s activities. He did look very tired though but kudos to him for still jumping straight in with everything. Like the previous cons, Saturday photograph sessions were for gold and silver ticket holders only so as I was a standard ticket holder I chose to get all my autographs done this day. Due to a lower amount of attendees this year, it didn’t take as long to work your way down each queue and allowed a little more time for a brief chat with each guest while they were signing. I only managed a hello and how are you though! I never know what to say! As soon as all my 10x8s were signed, I then headed out into Northamptontown centre in a desperate search for an alternative outfit for the Fangtasia party that night. I had forgotten to pack my brand new bustier style top (that I had accessorised for), which really upset me as I had been really looking forward to debuting it! Anyway, after 2 frantic and desperate hours I finally found a dress that would go well with the accessories and, as it turned out, looked better on me than the top! I guess every cloud does have a silver lining!

Practicing a scream with Tara Buck (Ginger) – Photo: Helen Berrington

So, crisis over, it was then time for the afternoon activities, which included guest talks, guest encounters and an auction to end the afternoon. This year, my bid on a place at Tara’s encounter was successful so I spent the first 45 minutes of the afternoon with 6 other people and Tara just shooting the breeze. She was very friendly and more than happy to answer any of our questions. She told us how much fun she had on that mechanical coffin last season and how it was all filmed. She also mentioned that she is a huge Game of Thrones fan and would love a part on the show. It was really nice to be able to have that kind of intimate time to just relax and have a proper discussion with her. The guest talks were really interesting also. Unfortunately, I missed Lindsay’s talk due to being withTarabut still caught all the others.Tara’s talk was pretty much what she talked about with us in the encounter except that she elaborated a bit more about the coffin scene. Apparently, there is an extra long take of that scene where they didn’t yell cut for quite a long time and is played to the rest of the cast during low points in filming! AfterTara’s talk came Nelsan and Lauren’s joint talk. They also told us that they were big fans of Game of Thrones and almost turned the talk into a discussion about the show! The afternoon was then topped off with an auction. As this was the final Bitten con, there were a lot more items to get through than usual. At one point, there were so many t-shirts to auction off that Jason, one of the organisers, just took a handful and threw them out into the audience. I was one of the lucky ones that caught one! There were lots of bargains this year; the meal with the guests went for £120 ($221), which is a lot less than how much it was worth!

With Nelsan Ellis – Photo: Helen Berrington

It was soon party time again and time for the annual “Fangtasia” theme. We had the pole dancers back again, who were even more acrobatic than last time! We also saw the usual amount of flesh and cleavage as everyone put all their effort in to looking like vampires or fangbangers. This year we even had an attendee dress as Spike from Buffy/Angel! Not a vampire you’d expect to meet at Fangtasia so I just had to have my picture taken with him! As well as the usual disco, we had the added extra of a live band performance this time by a local unsigned band called LaCarla. They had an independent rock kind of sound, which isn’t really my kind of music, but most people seemed to enjoy their set. The guests did hang out in the bar area later on in the night but by that time I was heading on up to bed!  Some of us just can’t take the pace!

As Sunday morning rolled around, I saw quite a few people wandering around looking a little worse for wear! Bitten attendees do like to party hard! Personally, I’m glad I went to bed when I did otherwise I would have looked the same during my photograph sessions! I was quite surprised to find that the organisers were using a different photographer this time around and were trialling a new instant photo print system. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, it was much more relaxed and fun, plus having music being played at the same time just added to the laid back atmosphere. It certainly made my photo experience with each guest just a bit more special. My stand out moments were perfecting my “Ginger” scream with Tara and when Nelsan adjusted his own height so that he would be level with me on the picture. I hadn’t asked him to do that but it was really considerate of him and I’m very grateful to him. Joe Manganiello, take note! (Ha ha). The afternoon activities consisted of more guest talks and encounters, with the addition of a True Blood quiz as an interval between the talks. I love the quizzes, as they are completely hilarious! Each team was made up of two of the guests plus one attendee, so Tara and Lindsay were on one team and Lauren and Nelsan on the other. Also, the audience is split in half so that each team has its supporters. I was on Tara and Lindsay’s side, which turned out to be the winning team in the end! The trivia round had some really good questions, even if poor Andrew, the quiz master, couldn’t pronounce some of the names! He got some ribbing about that from Lauren! The funniest round, though, was the acting round, where the attendee and one of the guests have to re-enact a scene from the show. Lauren can do a very uncanny impression of Pam! She had the voice and mannerisms completely spot on. We were all stunned! The afternoon was concluded with the final group talk. This is always my favourite of all the talks as the guests are all more relaxed and they get asked random and unusual questions rather than True Blood related ones. One of the most popular questions that gets asked is whether any of the guests have any party tricks, which always gives us some funny moments. Lindsay’s trick was that she could whistle through her tongue, Nelsan’s was pretending to be passed out on the floor (?), Tara’s was her “Ginger” scream, which nearly deafened everybody and we eventually discovered that Lauren’s was being able to list the many humourous slang names for “lady parts”. Such a hilarious way to end the convention!

With Lindsay Pulsipher (Crystal Norris) – Photo: Helen Berrington

Of course, the weekend hadn’t completely ended just yet; there was still the final party to go. This year’s themed chill out party was the “Fellowship of the Sun Lock In”, where people could either dress in their pyjamas or as soldiers of the sun. I went with pyjamas and slippers! As most people had gone home after the final talk, it was quite a small and sedate party. There were some crazy looking onesies being worn, especially by the guys! It was quite the sight! However, as the atmosphere was more sedate than previous years, my friend, Sarah and I decided to go back up to our room for an early night. We both had long journeys home ahead of us the next day so it was probably for the best!

Overall, the Bitten 3 weekend was an amazing experience! Nelsan, Lauren, Tara and Lindsay were brilliant guests and I’m very grateful to them for coming over and spending some time with us crazy fans! Also thank you to Giles and Duncan, our fab photographers, those sessions were so much fun! Thank you to Sarah, Rachel, Pete and all my other Bitten friends for adding to the madness and fun we have each year. I really hope we all meet again at other events in the future. My biggest thanks, though, go to Massive Events for another great weekend. The Bitten conventions have meant so much to me over these few years and I am completely devastated that there won’t be anymore. I am grateful and appreciative of all the hard work you guys have put in to these conventions each year and I’m looking forward to attending other events you may hold.

Hi, I’m Helen. I’m a 32 year old teaching assistant from Liverpool, UK. Huge True Blood and SVM fan!

1 Comment

  1. Rina

    August 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks so much for the great report. It sounds like you had a great time, and all I can say is that I am positively jealous.